Big Brother Watch: Unparalleled State Powers as Covid Cases Plummet

Dear friends,

We want to exit lockdown healthy, safe and free – and without anyone facing exclusion.

But as Covid cases plummet, and we start to inch our way back towards normal life, there are signs that our most critical rights and freedoms won’t be given back so quickly.

Let me update you on the past couple of months and the work Big Brother Watch has been doing to fight against this dystopian new normal!

After a year of restrictions, we’ve published our *tenth* report on Emergency Powers and Civil Liberties. You can be the first to read it here and watch our YouTube summary below!

Covid Passes – fighting back together

First up, a HUGE thank you to everybody who has donated to our Crowdfunder to stop divisive & discriminatory COVID passports.

The people have spoken and we’ve undoubtedly put a dent into worrying plans for a checkpoint Britain.

But the fight is far from over

The government has been conducting secretive trials of Covid passports at Heathrow Airport, a hospital in Kettering and job adverts scouting out developers to work on them have been published online.

Boris Johnson today confirmed that an announcement will be made on them later this month.

We won’t give up until the government backs down!

Coronavirus Act renewal – the rebellion is growing

At the vote in March, the government extended the Coronavirus Act for another six months. However, 76 MPs voted against extending the Act – triple the number that rebelled at the last vote in September.

This is a law that is responsible for over 250 unlawful prosecutions and we will continue to pile pressure onto the government until it is scrapped.

Excessive policing:

The rules are NOT and have never been clear, least of all it appears to the officers who are enforcing them!

In the past eight weeks:

☕ A woman was arrested for going out for a coffee

🥪 A care worker was fined for eating her lunch in her car alone

🎹 A busker was fined for playing his piano

🏖️ A man was handcuffed for going on a walk on the beach

It’s time for these police powers to be stripped back and every fine reviewed.

Protest rights – scenes from heavy-handed policing of peaceful vigil shock the nation

When a group of women organised a safe and peaceful vigil in memory of a young women who died, it is suspected, at the hands of a police officer, police used violence and aggression to fine and arrest women who gathered to pay their respects.

It didn’t have to end like that. The High Court has ruled that a blanket ban on protests is unlawful. Police should be facilitating protests, not brutally shutting them down.

Rapid testing rapidly backfires

Serious concern over the accuracy of lateral flow tests as part of ‘Operation Moonshot’ and Covid passport plans.

Studies suggest that lateral flow tests could miss up to 60% of asymptomatic cases as well as returning false positives – yet £3bn of your money has already been spent on them.

These test results could control access to work, education and events. We sent a briefing to every Parliamentarian explaining why they are dangerous for public health, equality and privacy.

If you are ready for this nightmare to end, it is time to join us in our fight against Covid passes.

Thank you for supporting us throughout these turbulent times,

Erlend Evans,

Digital Communications Manager.

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